Many people think that resin is just a type of plastic, but this is not the case. Resin is a natural compound – typically liquid – that is combined with a hardener. This allows the resin to be formed into a wide range of products which hardens in place and becomes extremely durable.
Epoxy resin is a popular choice, as it is one of the most durable. However, it’s also a more expensive option, making it difficult for many people to obtain and use.
Polyester resin is a better solution for many as it’s made from synthetic materials, which makes the cost much more manageable. This lower cost makes it a better option when you’re in need of deep molds, as you need so much more of the product.
It is also better for certain types of projects, such as those involving fiberglass linings. Below are just a few of the most popular uses for polyester resin.
A boat is exposed to harsh elements in the natural waters, so it’s imperative that they have a strong, durable base to protect them. Polyester resin provides an excellent base and is popular in the boating industry. The base also makes it a useful tool in vehicles and aircraft.
Surfboards are exposed to the same elements as boats, meaning that they need the same protective base. Polyester resin is often worked into the fiberglass of surfboards to help protect it and give it a strong structure.
Arts and Crafts
Many artists and creators have learned the benefits of utilizing polyester resin for their arts and crafts. It’s often used in casting molds, creating costume jewelry, making beautiful tabletops, encapsulating items, making paperweights, sculptures, and much more. The fact that it can be painted and stained makes it a great solution for these types of products.
Flat roofing has become a popular option over the last several years. Due to its makeup, it needs extra strength and water resistance to keep homes safe and dry. Polyester resin is a very effective way to make this happen.
After the polyester resin has cured in place, it is weather-resistant and water-resistant. It can also stand up to salt solutions. This makes it great for a wide range of outdoor items, including swimming pools, jacuzzis, and even ponds.
Polyester resin is also used in other custom moldings, home construction, showers, appliances, furniture, packaging materials, and so much more.
Different Types of Polyester Resin
There are several types of polyester resin – the most common of which is unsaturated polyester resin. Unsaturated polyester comes designed with different properties, depending on the specific project you need it for. Some of these are listed below.
General purpose is one of the most widely-used options. It provides the basic benefits of polyester resin, including basic waterproofing. This tends to make it popular for pools, ponds, roofing, and other construction jobs.
Fire and Electrical Resistant
Some applications of polyester resin expose it to fire and electrical hazards. As such, it needs additives to prevent these hazards from becoming a present threat. While these additives can be helpful in many areas, some common uses include military equipment, electrical panels and equipment, fume cabinets, and more.
Food Grade and Drinking Water
Typical polyester resin can break down and enter food or water under certain conditions. However, you can choose an option that is safe for food and water applications. This is great for people who enjoy creating bowls, cups, and more. It’s also good for manufacturers who choose polyester resin for making water pitchers and similar items.
As with electrical and fire hazards, some products are constantly exposed to harmful or destructive chemicals. When this is the case, additives can make the polyester resin resistant to these chemicals.
There are also products that go through a great deal of wear and tear, which makes them susceptible to abrasions and damage. Due to this, abrasion-resistant polyester is often used, especially in industrial applications. However, if you’re making tabletops or similar projects, an abrasion-resistant resin is a great choice.
There are also specialty polyester resins, which you can choose for specific types of projects, and flexible resin options if your project requires some degree of movement. Factories can also choose low emission resin to help minimize potential workplace hazards.
While epoxy resin is the answer for many projects, polyester resin can be just as good – and sometimes even better – for a wide range of uses. Before diving into any project, it’s always important to consider the full scale. What exactly do you need the resin to do for the project and what specific features are important? By answering these questions, you have a greater chance of determining which option is best for you.